What if you let your chef chose your meal for you? What if you didn't even know the location of said meal until 24 hours before your reservation? And what if you were told to leave your high heels at home?
Welcome to the unusual dining experience that is Dinner Lab, a three-year-old New Orleans-based members-only culinary club that hosts 24-hour experimental pop-up restaurants in 31 U.S. cities — and boasts no fees. It launched as a monthly event in Boston in late February, and has since grown to a bi-monthly affair. Members are notified of the events' theme and chef, and a few weeks in advance can purchase tickets ranging $50-$80 per person. Boozy pairings, a multi-course meal and gratuity are all included.
The secret location adds to the spontaneity of the evening, as do the vague environmental restrictions, including a “no stilettos” policy adopted for a recent evening at Central Square's Green Street Studios. “You can’t prepare in the same way you might usually prepare for a night out [at a restaurant],” says former Boston Community Manager Mara Littman.
Previous events include an homeage to Malasysian cuisine with Chef Mario Rodriguez at the Chevalier Theater in Medford and Chef Geoff Lukas' From Land to Sea menu at the Boston Button Factory on Melcher Street. This Friday, Dec. 18, Journeyman alumn and Keflavik, Iceland native Chef Robb Morrell will present an winter root vegetable-focused menu, with hay roasted celeriac and grilled mackerel with preserved seabuckthorn on the menu. (The location is still TBA, but we do know the night ends with goat cheese ice cream with kombucha poached squash.)